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Description

Programme Specification for the 2019/0 academic year

MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology Programme codePTS1BIOBIOCB
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2019/0
Campus(es)Cornwall Campus
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology programme is taught by the staff of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (CEC), whose evolutionary and behaviour research groups are amongst the most dynamic in the UK. As an MSc student you will be integrated into these groups and conduct cutting-edge research projects that aim to make genuine contributions to the field of evolutionary and behavioural ecology. The goal is to prepare you for a future research career.

You will be trained in critically evaluating and synthesising recent research findings from the primary literature on various aspects of evolutionary and behavioural ecology, learn molecular techniques and handle specific software for genomic analyses, quantify animal behaviour in the lab and the field, become familiar with the use of theoretical models in animal behaviour, trained in experimental design and statistical analyses, undertake a substantial piece of independent research, and present your work to a discerning audience.

The Centre is the fastest growing institute of its kind in the UK and an integral part of the School of Biosciences at the Penryn Campus. Research is almost exclusively organismal, with particular emphasis on social mammals, birds, turtles, insects and microbes. We also specialise in modelling animal behaviour and species interactions and see this as essential and complementary to our whole approach. The other area of emphasis which underpins much of our work is quantitative and molecular genetics; fundamental to the evolutionary process and to conservation biology and policy issues.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with knowledge and understanding of topics that underpin our understanding of research-informed frontiers in evolutionary and behavioural ecology.
  • provide you with a scientific, intellectual, and practical training that will enhance your employability and prepare you for autonomous lifelong learning.
  • enable you to experience a supportive learning environment that fosters your academic and personal development.
  • train you to identify and understand problems that relate to evolutionary and behavioural ecology.
  • provide you with a thorough knowledge of the philosophical basis of the scientific method.
  • develop your problem solving ability.
  • provide you with a thorough understanding of how to conduct an independent research programme.
  • provide you with the quantitative skills that will allow you to conduct scientific research.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

www.exeter.ac.uk/biosciences/current/modules/pgcornwall/

You are also permitted to take the five-credit module LESM910 Professional Development Experience in any year. Registration on this module is subject to a competitive application process. If taken, this module will not count towards progression or award calculation.

Stage 1


180 credits of compulsory modules

a You must take the field course module. If you have mobility or health disabilities and want to undertake fieldwork, then reasonable adjustments and/or alternative assessment can be considered.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BIOM4009 Research Project 90Yes
BIOM4017 Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology 15No
BIOM4018 Approaches in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology 15No
BIOM4019 African Behavioural Ecology Field Course [See note a above]30No
BIOM4025 Statistical Modelling 15No
LESM006 The Art of Science 15No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Recount core knowledge, and demonstrate critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the field of study.
2. Comprehend and define some techniques applicable to research in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology.
3. Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical comprehension of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.
4. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline, evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses.
5. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline, evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses.

Lectures, seminars, discussion groups, oral presentations, poster presentations practical laboratory and field skills, independent reading, synthesis and essays (see module descriptions).

ILOs 1-5:

Key skills: oral presentation, poster presentation, written report.

Research Project: literature review, project report.

Statistics module: data handling exercises, field data report, discussion sessions.

Subject-specific modules: essay, discussion sessions and oral presentation, behavioural short report, laboratory report.

Field course: poster presentation, behavioural monitoring training and project.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

6. Collate and synthesise information from multiple sources;
7. Critically evaluate current research in the discipline;
8. Within the research project module assessments demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your research;
9. Undertake research in an organised and rigorous manner;

Lectures, seminars, discussion groups, oral presentations, poster presentations practical laboratory and field skills, independent reading, synthesis and essays (see module descriptions).

ILOs 6-9:

Key skills: oral presentation, poster presentation, written report.

Research Project: literature review, project report.

Statistics module: data handling exercises, field data report, discussion sessions.

Subject-specific modules: essay, discussion sessions and oral presentation, behavioural short report, laboratory report.

Field course: poster presentation, behavioural monitoring training and project.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

10. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate your conclusions effectively and clearly in writing and orally to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
11. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.
12. Continue to advance your knowledge and understanding, and develop new skills to a high level.
13. Manage deadlines and targets.

Lectures, seminars, discussion groups, oral presentations, poster presentations practical laboratory and field skills, independent reading, synthesis and essays (see module descriptions).

ILOs 10-13:

Key skills: oral presentation, poster presentation, written report.

Research Project: literature review, project report.

Statistics module: data handling exercises, field data report, discussion sessions.

Subject-specific modules: essay, discussion sessions and oral presentation, behavioural short report, laboratory report.

Field course: poster presentation, behavioural monitoring training and project.

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

You will be located in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (Penryn campus), where close working relationships are fostered. You can expect reasonable access to all teaching staff through appointments and will in addition receive formative feedback from various discussion groups/in-lecture exercises throughout the delivery of each module and therefore receive essentially continuous feedback during the taught component of the programme. Project supervisors provide academic and tutorial support once you move on to the research component of the programme. In addition, the Programme Director will offer every student a meeting each term with an academic who provides guidance and feedback on assessment performance. Your progress will be monitored and you can receive up-to-date records of the assessment, achievements and progress at any stage.All modules will have ELE pages.

ELE is the University of Exeter's online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It provides an online set of integrated tools to support e-Learning activities and enables students to access course materials and use tools such as Discussion Forums and Quizzes to interact online.

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and studentsÂ’ learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(http://as.exeter.ac.uk/support/admin/staff/qualityassuranceandmonitoring/tqamanual/fullcontents/)

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

The programme is not subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of educational provision. The College documents the performance in each of its taught programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Programme Monitoring cycle:

  • Admissions, progression and completion data
  • In Year Analysis data
  • Previous monitoring report
  • Monitoring of core (and optional) modules
  • External examiner's reports and University and College responses (reported to SSLC)
  • Any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body/accrediting body or other external reports
  • Consultation with employers and former students
  • Staff evaluation
  • Student evaluation
  • Programme aims

Subject areas are reviewed every four years through a periodic subject review scheme that includes external contributions. (http://admin.exeter.ac.uk/academic/tls/tqa/Part%209/9JREVISEDPSRSCHEME.pdf)

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology

19. UCAS Code

C793

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

26/10/2006

Date of last revision

11/06/2018